tv [untitled] January 20, 2012 10:01pm-10:31pm PST
masonic temple is now located in the polk street neighborhood commercial district. then there is the question of the vast increase in the number of bars. i have no objection to the continuing historic use. nobody is trying to shut them down. but i hope that in all fairness, you will not accept the recommendation related to the number of events and the number of bars. thank you. president miguel: thank you. [reading names] >> good afternoon, commissioners. i'm a resident of nob hill and
i'm interested in what goes on in masonic temple. i am not opposed to the entertainment use, i'm opposed to what is an obvious effort to intensify that use the conditional use proceeding. masonic fully intends to intensify the entertainment use by increasing the number of live entertainment events held there, in particular large, nighttime entertainment events as well as increasing alcohol service over what has historically been the case. masonic seats a conditional use authorization to hold an average of 68 events per year with no limit the type, size, and time of duration among other things. the planning commission does not have the legal authority to grant a conditional use authorization as requested by masonic and recommended by the planning department. contrary to what was said earlier today, there are limits imposed by the state on the
number, size and type of events. the applicable law in california requires a conditional use authorization ensures the entertainment events at the masonic are the same or similar types as those that occurred during 1958 when it was built and 1968, when masonic's previous use became non- conforming. any change in the premises which gives it permanency or expands the non-conforming use is not permitted. recent years, current use, used during some time purposely selected by masonic is not the lawful standard. it is incumbent upon the commission to impose appropriate conditions as has been suggested by the novel coalition, not bill association, and myself and my submission from october, 2011. -- not hill coalition and association.
[tone] president miguel: thank you. >> good afternoon. i have been living at 1029 jones street, one block from masonic for the last 40 years. i would like to remind you of two words that have not been raised today -- that is california environmental review. since the commission approved a conditional use applications as staff recommends with the 25% increase in the number of events an alcoholic beverage service with a permanent liquor license, without environmental review in compliance with the california environmental act, this commission will expose the
city to another lawsuit. i don't need to remind this commission of the results and costs to the city when they approved an intensification of use without proper environmental review. i member -- i am officially requesting a proper california environmental review on this issue. thank you very much. president miguel: thank you. >> i live on 849 mason st., about a block from the masonic temple. i'm a vice president of the nob hill association. good afternoon, the commissioners. i am here today to place on the record a document which was sent to mr. guy on october 7 from -- the statement reads -- on
september 11, i attended a b.b. king concert at the masonic. there was a long bar set up at the main lobby before the gates where the ticket takers were stationed. i was surprised to see and other alcoholic beverage station in what appears to be a coat closet and many people taking their beverages into the auditorium itself. the obvious and it increased consumption of alcohol is most definitely a new experience in the that you, which seems to me to have been instituted since live nation has taken over operations. that was definitely not historical use in the past. only bottled water was permitted inside the auditorium. during the intermission, i witnessed the concerning violations of the most basic fire and safety rules. after the opening act ended, and the crew removed equipment from the stage to make room for b.b. king, the staff carry get a bit
down from the state directly in front of one of the auditorium aisles and held unwieldy equipment straight up and filed through the handicapped exit. removal of the quebec through the exiles and a emergency exits should not be allowed -- removal of equipment through the emergency aisles should not be allowed reduce of alcohol is not compatible with the welfare and safety of the of that attendees, especially when there are activities taking place. i don't understand why there's a 25% increase -- [tone] when the application is to continue the existing uses. the commission should make sure the number of events approved reflects the current events size and type because they affect the neighborhood in many different ways. a high-school prom of bed with 200 students and no alcohol is vastly different from a sold-out concert. president miguel: thank you. >> this is the document.
>> i live at 1354 sacramento and i made daily cable car writer. i came before the board of supervisors when the applicant came to increase the number of events without environmental review. essentially, it took me 20 minutes to go from leavenworth to taylor street. there are many cars in the crosswalk and the cable car was later shot down because we had to get off the cable car and direct cars around it. it was clearly off -- clearly unsafe and allied was later shot down. -- it was clearly unsafe and was later shot down. [unintelligible] i urge the commission to impose the conditional approval similar
to that imposed by the board of supervisors. thank you. president miguel: thank you. >> i work for local 16 and i have worked at the nob hill masonic center and other venues. an interesting thing i would like to mention is that the masonic center is not the only venue on the block on the top of nob hill. the fairmont hotel has many similar corporate events, concerts, at this does the -- as does the -- -- as does the mark hopkins hotel. i have almost been killed by a taxi going to the mark hopkins.
the masonic auditorium parking rush accommodates people going to other the -- to the other venues because they cannot accommodate the parking or it's too expensive. alcohol service which has a larger capacity than the masonic auditorium are unlimited. there are bars and hotels and air moved to whichever that you need to be used and as much alcohol is sold on that block as people will purchase. concession sales seem to be a very important source of revenue for companies in this industry. it has also been called into question whether or not live nation is a reputable company in terms of their dealings. i have worked for many companies in this industry and over many years. i have found it -- i've worked with companies that did not have an agreement with you and make it very difficult to make a living with a decent wage or to be treated well. live nation has always treated me and my colleagues, many of
which are here, fairly, they pay be a good enough wages that i can afford to live with my family in san francisco, and i strongly support this issue and would like to keep working for them at this that you. thank you. president miguel: is there additional public comment? come on up. >> thank you, commissioners. our apartment is located at 1177 california st., next to the california masonic memorial temple. i feel like this is like groundhog day. i hope it is not. again, no environmental review was conducted for the conditional use application. the planning department decided this conditional use application does not require environmental review under public resources code because it merely seeks to
continue an existing lawful nonconforming use. a conditional use applications as a discretionary action that requires the planning commission to exercise its sound judgment and it is not a ministerial act. any project that fully complies with the planning code without requiring and -- without requiring a very it's a conditional use may be subject to discretionary review of someone requests one. there is no such thing as a ministerial project involving a planning permit in this city. the applicants proposed conditions of approval and the staff recommendation related to liquor service intensify this historic liquor service. your staff states in the executive summary to you that there is no evidence to support a historic number of bars and historically one-day permits were issued to the promoter upon request. if staff wreck -- yet, staff
recommends three permanent bars. regardless of the determination of the number of historical events, the allowing of 25% clearly truett -- clearly triggers a review because it's an intensification of historic use. when you look at the detailed schedule of events, it is beyond obvious the application and your staff recommend an intensification of the existing news. as such, it is required that an environmental review is conducted. [tone] >> i would like to put that into -- >> members of the commission, i am the attorney for the nob hill coalition. first of all, we have talked about the fact that the conditional use is a discretionary action by this
commission. what is most troublesome about this staff report is the increase in the intensity of the number of events. they rely on a section, when 86.1b -- 186.1b. this building is in eight nob hill special use district that overlays the residential district. i cannot understand how you can do something that applicable only to a neighbor in commercial districts, dress it up into this nob hill and say we are the discretion to decide, not a significant enlargement, so they can have 25 more. we have requested a letter of termination from the zoning administrator to explain how your staff arrived at that decision. -- letter of determination.
i have requested this measure be continued. if this commission decided you are not going to continue this action and that you are going to decide your action today, at a minimum, you are going to have to end the condition that whatever action will be depending and contingent on the zoning administrators determination. as far as the bar is concerned, when something -- there is no record except for a temporary one-day licenses. to allow a permanent license and increase it magically to three bars is another intensification. [tone] president miguel: thank you. is there additional public comment on this item?
>> i live at 1150 sacramento street. i was not going to make any comments, but i have to respond to commissioner antonini about his response to the people at the 49 games. is alcohol that causes the problems. you have this shooting down in los angeles, you have alcohol is a terrible situation. it is permitted, we know that. but there is no way to control alcohol use at events where there are thousands of people. you cannot control how many people at the game drink and people at new orleans were right in front of me and i was embarrassed by the people in
front of me to carry drinking and drinking and got meter and meaner. this business of allowing alcohol, the extended use of alcohol, is poisoning the children and people and it's not only poisoning them, that is bad enough, but the ramifications to people who are in their presence and have to put up with it, you should honestly consider it. you asked us to be paid to the people -- you asked us to behave to the people out of town. as long as people are drunk, you can tell them what to do but there is no way they will stop. they are out of control. if you go to a concert and drink four or five drinks, six drinks, there is going to be problems. that is something you should consider and i don't think putting a limit on the number drinks can be realistically enforced. thank you very much. president miguel: thank you.
>> i was not planning on speaking on this issue because i have friends on both sides. i have all lot of friends in the audience of a book about the real historic use is here, but the woman who has babysat my 8 year old son works for the union, of this matters to her. it's hard to come to a decision when you know what kind of trouble you are going to have if you go to committee bars, to be drunk people, but you also know the profits in this industry are driven by the number of seats people can sell and the amount of concessions, including alcohol, they can provide. i don't know what way you are going today, but i think it's going to go on for awhile. my suggestion is the city and live nation look at options that this does not work out. i can dig of one with a lot more seats a lot more jobs, and it's on you in metro and many lines.
-- and it's on muni metro. i think it's a much more appropriate location for these larger events which are important to the city and bring revenue to the city and create jobs. i support that and i support my baby sitter who works at these events, but we have to look at where is the best place to do it. i it's hard to argue the size of events i have been hearing about makes sense at this location. but if we can get a new warriors stadium, that would be a great place because she could ride home when you are drunk and some of driving. thank you. president miguel: is there additional public comment on this item. public comment is closed. >> i want to speak on some of the issues that were raised on a public comment here. this is a conditional use application for the continuation
of a nonconforming use. under the provision of the planning code, they are allowed to file the application to continue the lawfully nonconforming use. the applicant makes a credible argument that since they have no existing cap on the number of events that they could continue as such. they are a venue that allows these uses and it could continue. that said, we feel it is appropriate to have some limits here. i feel that number of events is at the discretion of this commission and we want to provide some guidance to the commission. we evaluated the historical use data given to us and we can go into greater detail about the methodology used, but he worked diligently to verify the information. we came to the average number of events, and that was 54 average entertainment events. there are other events that are not entertainment events. we had to parse through the affirmation to determine which were entertainment and which were not.
we used the definitions available at the various units will code to arrive at those conclusions. we came to an average number of 54 and we felt given the was a fluctuation -- year to year, this changes -- so we felt it was appropriate to acknowledge that. so we did the + 25%. that gives up to 68. this is still fewer entertainment events than have occurred in at least 2004, which based on the calculations, was at least 77 events that year. we are not increasing the historic number of events. there have been more events that we are proposing here. the final number is at the discretion of this commission. a letter of determination was submitted earlier this week and we can continue to process that. if they disagree with the conclusions, they can appeal to the board of appeals and it is the commission's discretion
whether or not to continue this hearing. you could continue this item to a future date to allow the letter of determination to play its course. that would be several months, probably more than six months, if it's appealed to the board of appeals. but that is something you have the ability to do. in regards to the liquor licenses, we said clearly in our report that the information is insufficient to establish a historic number. there is testimony there have been five. we have to testify for the public that there are as few as two. that is something this commission will have the discretion to decide what should be the continuing number of liquor uses. i just wanted to clarify those two points and i am available for questions. the issue about the ãcity attorney. i wanted to clarify those issues. president miguel: thank you. good to go into the methodology
of determining the number? >> certainly. we are provided with a day-by- day list of all events held at the masonic center from 2002- 2007. those events were individually described in the listing and we reviewed under a number of different categories like light entertainment, special events, trade shows, speaking engagements and things like that. the first step of the methodology was going through that by event and verifying the accuracy of that categorization and then breaking out into the bit to global categories of live entertainment events, which our understanding was informed by the definition of entertainment in various parts of the municipal code. all other events are categorized as non-live entertainment because our concern is the impact of the neighborhood recall heavily around not such a size of the event, but whether
or not there live entertainment or non-live entertainment. then we are able to come up with an average number of events per year from those samples years. president miguel: regarding the number of bars? >> as you heard from testimony and as the project sponsor contents, there has been a history of alcohol sales at this location for certain events. we were not able to establish with enough reliability any sort of precedent for the number of points of sale of alcohol. there was some mention made about the condition of allowing three bars. that condition speaks more to limitation toward the end where alcohol is sold, limiting when
people can be served and if alcohol is permitted or more than three is permitted, limiting the points of sale to a maximum of three bars to the closing time of that event and setting a line marker so that patrons are cut off at that point in terms of who can be served after that time when it is one hour prior to the conclusion of the event where no alcohol can be served. if the commission is inclined to address this issue and impose conditions fewer than three bars, that condition would change accordingly. >> may i ask one other question? the number of bars does not necessarily in my mind correspond to the number of bartenders. do you know if they are talking about a bartender? >> we did not get into that.
with respect to the condition i was describing earlier, our interest was if these are geographically dispersed throughout the venue, limiting the number of corners of the venue that someone could go to to purchase alcohol. president miguel: thank you. i will explain the reasons for my last question, although i have been retired since 1991, back in the late '70s and '80s, i a served as a florist and number of corporate events, particularly entertainment events and there were at least at two of the events, five bars on which we did a floral arrangements. there were two bars, but each of them were quite long, with at least three bartenders at each
of them. trying to figure out what an actual historic use is would be very difficult. it has varied to my knowledge over the years. commissioner antonini: i would like to ask some questions from the representative of avatar if they are here? there have been some representations made about the liquor service and that there would be cabaret or you would be able to bring your drinks to the seats. is that the case or not? >> that is certainly the case currently. commissioner antonini: so this would be no change in what exists at the present time? >> exactly. commissioner antonini: there are
some conditions that were added at an earlier approval which is not before us now. but at that time, one of the conditions was the police could this about that they felt that was inappropriate for the venue. and there were over 12 letter to the pre sold tickets that the sponsors would have to have off- duty police officers or hire professional law enforcement personnel. are those conditions acceptable as part of this approval? >> those are acceptable. the reasons that did not include them in the draft notion was they felt was more appropriate for the entertainment commission to impose those conditions because the staff does not enforce those conditions were at the retain a commission, actions are enforced by the police department and not be applied to
the entertainment condition and forced by the police department. commissioner antonini: it is appropriately could mention of this is something staff has to advise us on. the third one i have in mind is that ceasing alcoholic sales after a certain time, just like after some sports events after the third quarter, you stop alcohol beverage sales or the end of the seventh inning or one hour before the end of the performance. i would expect that may be something we try to put in? >> that is in condition 29. commissioner antonini: i did not read that. >> condition 30. >>commissioner antonini: presidt miguel help us understand the basis for the numbers we're
seeing. the zoning administrator point out that number of events per year vary greatly between 2003 to the present. there was one year where we had as many as 77 live events and one year where we had up to 332 total events. other years were close to that same number. as was pointed out, there are currently no limits. what ever happened to be able to sell in that particular year was the number of events that were going to have, both live events and total offense. now we're putting restrictions on. there is no rule that says you have to take the average. the average for the median is somewhere in between. but i did not hear a lot complaining during the years when they had the highest number when they had the highest number of events, not there could ha